Two Victoria Falls men have been dragged to court for allegedly throwing 68 cyanide-laced oranges in the Zambezi National Park.
Mkhululi Nkomo (35) and Noel Mwembe (32) both from Mkhosana high-density suburb yesterday appeared before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Portia Mhlanga charged with contravening Section 77 (a) of the Environmental Management Act chapter 20:27 “Use, dispose into the environment a pesticide or toxic substance”.
They pleaded not guilty under the instruction of their pro-deo lawyer Givemore Muvhiringi of Muvhiringi and Legal Associates Partners.
Representing the State, Takunda Ndovorwi told the court that on August 17, and at around 9:30am the pair went into Zambezi Rainforest, where Nkomo climbed a tree and placed a packet containing cyanide-laced oranges on one of the branches, while Mwembe was scattering some oranges on the ground and they were spotted by members of the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit who were on patrol.
Under surveillance, the two proceeded to another tree and scattered oranges before walking away from the scene to Mwembe’s house in Mkhosana suburb.
The anti-poaching team followed them, and upon searching Mwembe’s house, discovered 15 grammes cyanide granules and also collected 68 oranges laced with cyanide from the park.
Maphosa granted the two $50 bail each on condition that they do not interfere with State witnesses and report to the police twice a week after.
Their trial will commerce on August 31.
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